It took a few years, but Sergei Bobrovsky is playing like the goaltender the Florida Panthers envisioned back in the summer of 2019.
Bobrovsky has been sensational for a few weeks now. After Florida initially turned to Alex Lyon in net to begin the postseason, Bobrovsky took over beginning in Game 4 and has held down the starting job since. What has followed has been pretty much nothing but success, with the 34-year-old netminder posting a .935 save percentage and 2.15 goals against average.
Bobrovsky’s finest moment might have come Monday with his 32-save shutout of the Carolina Hurricanes. Now, the Panthers sit one win away from their first trip to the Stanley Cup Final since 1996.
“Sergei is a really interesting guy,” Panthers coach Paul Maurice said of the 34-year-old netminder on WQAM’s The Joe Rose Show. “Little moments in a guy’s career – like he goes into Game 5 in that Boston series with all the pressure in the world on him because now is exactly the time that we needed Sergei to be the player he kind of signed here to be, and he has been that in spades ever since.”
Maurice noted that the players in front of Bobrovsky have been willing to block shots and win net-front battles, which has limited the number of high-danger chances he’s had to turn away. That said, despite the 3-0 series lead each game has been decided by one goal, making Bobrovsky’s stellar play a major difference-maker.